Posts

COVID-related Changes Lead to Need for More Training

Because of COVID-related changes that shifted responsibilities, an end-user customer became increasingly responsible for being more hands-on with managing his organization’s access control solution: DNA Fusion. He knew the basics but, if he was going to be successful, he knew he needed a better understanding of the correlation between hardware and software. He immediately signed up for an in-person training class at Open Options to learn what he needed to know.

To his delight, Open Options customized the training for him. “Our direct support customer came to class with a list of questions and issues that his company was having and left with solutions and resources to use in the future,” said Brittany Tate, Technical Trainer at Open Options. “Instead of making the class cookie-cutter, we adjusted the course to link his list of questions with the topics we were discussing.”

He first attended a one-day wiring class and then the traditional three-day “Essentials” training.  An example of the type of questions the customer brought to class is: "My door always gives me false alarms when we have to replace the door contact. Honestly, I don’t really know what that is or how it’s used in the software.”

In the class, Brittany wired up a door with the customer, explained where the door contact is added in the DNA Fusion software, and demonstrated how to momentarily disarm any door forced/door held alarms until the door is fixed. This hands-on approach helped solidify the concepts for the participant.

The customer stated, “I really feel like we’re building from the ground up,”. The training broke down everything into repeatable tasks of good habits as well as troubleshooting techniques. The sessions covered common scenarios that occur in the field, including situations with dipswitch settings and various jumper settings.

“The customer left with a firm understanding of the big picture of both the software and the hardware,” explained Brittany. “He mentioned how having all of the resources and physical hardware at his workstation allowed him to make mistakes and troubleshoot in a controlled environment. Towards the end, he mentioned, “I’m excited to go back to my office and finally understand how everything is connected together.”

Through the Open Options training, the customer was equipped to anticipate and be able to fix problems before they even occur.

New Training Certification Program Helps Canadian Dealers “Cross the Border” Virtually

As the pandemic continues to limit people’s ability to travel, the Training department within Open Options has taken its training programs online to benefit dealers and system users.

Recently, Open Options offered its first ConnectEd iLearn Essentials Certification program as a digital experience, accommodating the urgent need of a Canadian dealer who has several DNA Fusion installations coming up. The online training from our U.S. operation allowed the dealer to virtually “cross the border” to acquire the knowledge necessary to get new sites up and running.

“This new certification format provides the same hands-on, personalized training that Open Options is known for conducting,” said Sherinda Barrow, Director, Education Services  at Open Options. “One of the students commented that the training was the best webinar they had attended during this strange time of the pandemic and how he really enjoyed the interactive portion of the training.”

The online class is a mixture of lecture and hands-on lab exercises that build on each student’s system knowledge as the class progresses. Each student is placed into a VM lab session to configure their systems and get some practical experience. This gives the students the ability to attain the knowledge of the DNA Fusion product from the safety of their own environment.

With the success of the first iLearn Essentials class, Open Options is scheduling additional ConnectEd iLearn sessions on the Training calendar. The next iLearn Essentials session will take place on October 13th–15th. Class size is limited to four students and requires the students to have two (2) monitors to view the instructor’s computer and configure in their individual DNA Fusion system.

Please contact the Open Options training department to register for the iLearn Essentials class.

Training Was Never Like This

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and our customers look for ways to reopen their facilities safely Open Options training sessions have looked at a variety of new challenges and solutions. The ongoing training events, both online and in-person, have seen questions shift from normal installation and operating questions to the integration of medical devices, sanitization of facilities and mask requirement solutions. The Open Options training team shares snapshots of real-world, “new normal” scenarios and practical advice that have come out of these training sessions in this article.  

A recent Regional Essentials training class held by Open Options in Seattle (with appropriate social distancing and health protocols) highlighted a variety of options to meet the various needs of the customer. In one example, personnel are not allowed to enter an area of the building until the sanitization crew has thoroughly cleaned and sanitized that area. The class came up with the option to disable the general personnel time schedules until the sanitization lead had presented their badge at a specific reader. This would activate the time schedules associated with the organization’s other employees and permitted them to enter the area. The resolution required some additional programming in the DNA Fusion system but provided the customer with the peace of mind that their employees were accessing clean, sanitized areas.

One customer needed to suspend all personnel access to their facilities, except for critical staff. The solution came in the form of configuring the Override feature on doors and flagging the staff‘s card that required access to the buildings. Once the doors were placed in the Locked mode, only personnel with designated cards could obtain access to the facilities. This solution saved the customer numerous hours of cardholder configuration to limit access to the numerous buildings on campus.

The Open Options class also discussed the new integrated options from Splan (cloud-based visitor management software) to Wavelynx (card and reader solutions), as the Open Options training team looked for various options to accommodate the touchless access that so many customers are requesting.

“We implemented a number of these scenarios in class so that the students could plan out the solutions and configure their demo system to accomplish the task,” said Sherinda Barrow, Director of Education Services for Open Options. “The class enjoyed looking at the many options they could utilize to satisfy their customers’ needs.”

In another example, the customer needed to verify that all employees, contractors, and visitors had a mask on before entering the facility. They had posted a security employee at the entrance to temporarily unlock the door if the person was in compliance with the mandate. The challenge was determining the individuals that had access to the site from the visitors who did not have open access to the building. After some discussion, the resolution came in the form of a simple red and green LED that would notify the security staff of the person’s access. Once the cardholder presented their badge, the LED would turn green to signify the valid access request. If the LED turned red, the door was not released until confirmation of their visit had been established. This required some additional wiring however it was a quick solution for a real world issue.

Each of these unique scenarios demanded a different solution to accommodate the customers’ requirements during this critical time. One student remarked, “The Open Options platform is so robust I can meet my customer’s needs through the application.” The Open Options training team is committed to formatting the training classes to meet the audience's needs, even if that means stretching the class syllabus to accommodate all the topics.

If you would like to schedule a training session that focuses on your needs, please contact the Open Options training team.